From April 11th to the 18th, Seacrest students Clay Broader, Bella Peters, Sabrina Perez, Saffron Buxton, Ryan Talano, Alan Vandersluis, Dani Metzger, Annabelle Melo, and Carolina and Miranda Sutton-Schott travelled abroad for a week long immersion in French culture. This recap of their adventure is written by Junior Sabrina Perez.
We spent the first half of the week staying in a chateau in the Loire Valley where we received homemade meals and were able to bond over various intense hours of French Monopoly (the board game). During the afternoon we explored marketplaces, villages, and cafes as we spoke with the locals and practiced our knowledge of French. Walking through the cobblestone streets felt surreal as we had views of architecture we've only seen in movies. We had the opportunity to visit Leonardo Da Vinci's castle where we took a class in French on nature and science, and walked on the same floor DaVinci walked on and saw the same bed he died on.
After we left the Loire Valley, we went to Paris. We stayed in a bed and breakfast where they delivered baguettes, croissants, and pain au chocolat every morning to our bedrooms. Our group was stunned with the gorgeous surroundings everywhere we turned. Our favorite mode of transportation was rushing onto the Metro as we followed the map to our next location. We walked through the sidewalks of Paris never looking down from the stunning gothic buildings and gold embellishments that commanded the streets. We visited the Luxembourg Gardens, Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, bookstores, creperies, and restaurants along the way. We also completed an architectural tour of the modern art at the Louis Vuitton Museum where we were able to experience seeing impressionist collections from renowned painters like Monet and Van Gogh.
We even had the opportunity to visit a French school and attend their Junior English class. We split ourselves up amongst the students and asked them questions in French as they asked us in English. We left with a deeper understanding of their daily lives and were able to contrast their routines with our American culture. As we left the school a flood of curious middle school students crowded around us, excited to demonstrate their English and ask us about our knowledge of typical pop culture references. It was incredible seeing how being on different continents makes it seem like we are on different planets. However, speaking with the students made us realize how similar we really are but how unique our cultures are as well.
This trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our French class. We were able to stand in front of the buildings we've seen in textbooks our entire lives and were able to take our knowledge of the French language outside of the classroom. Every single person left the trip wanting to return and would definitely suggest it to other French-language students.
It was unbelievable falling in love with a culture so suddenly and learning quickly from the locals with which you made connections. This trip was a dream come true for many of us and the memories and relationships we've made will never leave us.
From eating the best crepes we've ever had on the side of a busy street, to taking a boat ride across the Seine, to watching the Eiffel Tower glimmer for the first time as we tiredly walked back to our hotel, this trip impacted us for a lifetime.